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Steven Yeun, a highly-regarded actor and bona-fide sex symbol on both sides of the Pacific, is on a roll. The 36-year-old Korean-American shot to international stardom as Glenn Rhee on the hit AMC drama series The Walking Dead, on which he appeared from 2010 through 2016, and has since won great notices for his work in three acclaimed films that speak to both Americans and Koreans: 2017’s Okja, from director Bong Joon Ho; 2018’s Burning, from director Lee Chang-Dong, for which he won best supporting actor prizes from the National Society of Film Critics and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association; and, most recently, 2020’s Minari, from director Lee Isaac Chung, for which he is nominated for two prizes at the upcoming SAG Awards, one — along with his castmates — for best ensemble, and the other for best actor. A best actor Oscar nomination could well be on the horizon.
Minari, which won the audience award and grand jury prize for U.S. dramatic films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, tells the story of a Korean family that relocates to small-town Arkansas in the 1980s. Yeun plays its soft-spoken but determined patriarch.
On a recent episode of Awards Chatter, the 36-year-old reflected on his own experience of immigrating to America; how he wound up getting into improvisational comedy in Chicago and then screen acting in Los Angeles; the unlikely series of events that led him to The Walking Dead, and then to each of the major films that he has made since; plus much more.
* * * You can listen to the episode here.* * *
Past guests include Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Lorne Michaels, Barbra Streisand, George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, Jennifer Lawrence, Eddie Murphy, Gal Gadot, Warren Beatty, Angelina Jolie, Snoop Dogg, Jessica Chastain, Stephen Colbert, Reese Witherspoon, Aaron Sorkin, Margot Robbie, Ryan Reynolds, Nicole Kidman, Denzel Washington, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Matthew McConaughey, Kate Winslet, Jimmy Kimmel, Natalie Portman, Chadwick Boseman, Jennifer Lopez, Elton John, Judi Dench, Quincy Jones, Jane Fonda, Tom Hanks, Amy Schumer, Justin Timberlake, Elisabeth Moss, RuPaul, Rachel Brosnahan, Jimmy Fallon, Kris Jenner, Michael Moore, Emilia Clarke, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Helen Mirren, Tyler Perry, Sally Field, Spike Lee, Lady Gaga, J.J. Abrams, Emma Stone, Al Pacino, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Jerry Seinfeld, Dolly Parton, Will Smith, Kerry Washington, Sacha Baron Cohen, Carol Burnett, Norman Lear, Keira Knightley, David Letterman, Sophia Loren, Hugh Jackman, Melissa McCarthy, Chris Evans, Carey Mulligan, Seth MacFarlane, Amy Adams, Ben Affleck, Julia Roberts, Jake Gyllenhaal, Glenn Close, Will Ferrell, Cate Blanchett, Sacha Baron Cohen, Greta Gerwig, Conan O’Brien, Jodie Foster & Kevin Hart.
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